Call for papers: 2015 Critical Approaches to South Asian Studies Workshop

cultural building

The Critical Approaches to South Asian Studies (CASAS) Workshop will take place Feb. 26 and 27, 2015, in Toronto. CASAS offers a forum for exploring research on and critical discussions about the study of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. Building on previous years, the third annual workshop will provide a space for scholars to share works in progress and engage with new ideas.

The theme for the 2015 CASAS Workshop is “Questions of Method in South Asian Studies”. Proposals for papers, films or artwork that reflect on the connections between specific sites of research and issues of method are invited. What considerations shape methodologies in researching South Asia and the South Asian diaspora? What specific methodological challenges arise in relation to this field? How should the process of researching “other” spaces and bodies in the context of the North American academy be negotiated?

Films, artwork and papers that engage with themes and questions that include, but are not limited to, those listed below are welcome:

• critiques of methodological nationalism; de-centering the nation-state as the primary or dominating unit of analysis;

• local and regional as concepts for challenging national frames;

• connections between methodology in South Asian Studies and colonial epistemologies;

• relationships between area studies and the disciplines; the role of disciplinary bias in the study of particular nation-states;

• approaches to the study of diasporas and transnational social formations;

• connections between South Asian Studies and transnational feminist methodologies;

• reconceptualizing “South Asia” through the diaspora;

• methodological approaches to settler colonialism, neo-liberalism and structures of white supremacy;

• self-determination and indigeneity across South Asian and North American contexts;

• settler colonialism and immigration/diaspora;

• possibilities of speaking across regional, cultural, disciplinary sites in South Asia/

South Asian diasporas; and

• interdisciplinary methodologies for considering South Asian culture as site/


There is particular interest in works that engage these themes through a focus on gender, sexuality, caste, ability, race and class.

Workshop Format:

CASAS is an intimate workshop with a small number of participants. The goal is to foster dialogue among scholars at all levels and to continue to develop a network of South Asia scholars in southern Ontario and beyond who share similar critical concerns.

In this spirit, participants are asked to be prepared to engage fully and critically with each other and attend the entire workshop. Submitted papers, films or artwork will be circulated in advance among panellists and discussants to foster deeper engagement with the works presented.

The workshop will include:

• panels where each presenter will be allotted 10 to 15 minutes and discussants will subsequently provide feedback to the panel;

• roundtable sessions on the broader themes of the workshop;

• undergraduate panel organized in collaboration with United South Asians at York; and

• opportunities for community building and socializing.

In addition to academic engagement, community building and resource/ideas sharing, CASAS is also a platform for producing an interdisciplinary published work. Participants will be invited to submit full papers of the work they presented at the workshop for an edited volume to be put together by the South Asia Research Group (SARG) at the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) for publication.

To Apply:

Submit an abstract of 500 to 750 words and a short bio by Oct. 15 to Abstracts should respond to the themes outlined in this CFP. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by Nov. 3. Completed artwork, films and papers (maximum of 20 pages, double spaced) must be submitted by Jan. 15, 2015,for circulation amongst presenters and discussants.

In the spirit of maintaining the workshop format, presenters who do not submit completed papers in advance may be asked to give up their place in the program.

For more information, Critical Approaches to South Asian Studies Workshop website.